Saturday, August 7, 2010

Maritime records go online

Such good news. Dick Eastmans newsletter has announced recently that Archives NZ had given Family Search the task of digitizing and indexing around three million New Zealand maritime immigration records some time ago.  The launch will be on the North Shore on the 21st of August. It's in my diary.

Is there a competition between all these giant organisations for genealogical data? It's great news for people in lots of ways. We are time constrained researchers and there it all will be, just at the click of a mouse.

I was at the Archives just the other day, looking at a passenger list for the Doric which arrived in Wellington in October 1884 and had noticed that my family of interest was not listed in Suzanne Hamilton's index at the archives. The Evening Post summation of numbers is about 500 passengers of which 160 were nominated immigrants,principally women. My family were third cabin passengers in the newspaper.

Suzanne said there were always two passenger lists per voyage, the ships passenger manifest and the disembarkation list and that usually only one of the two survived.

There's more to this than I can readily understand at the moment. Maybe there will always be a need to do in-depth research beyond the Internet and that having the data so easily available will lull some into a feeling of  'if it isn't there then it doesn't exist' mentality.

At the launch I hope to find out if all the 500 passengers on the Doric are indexed, or just the 160 immigrants.


  1. Good news indeed - 17% of the records are up and searchable already at:

    I'm hoping to find those last few elusive ancestors for whom I have a date of arrival but no ship name.

  2. Thanks for the tip, I've had a look, no luck so far

  3. The passenger list for the sailing of the Doric which departed London 30 Aug 1884 is on the website and has been indexed. It is a list of assisted immigrants only.